"Sergeant Harris." A voice spoke behind the man dressed in the Enclave Power Armor. The soldier turned and looked at the man behind him. The face that turned to greet him was grim, lock-jawed and stoic. He had a salt-and-pepper black crew cut, strong jaw line and a few minor lines on his face (mostly around his eyes and mouth). He smiled slightly when the scientist that stood a few inches below him looked into his face and cringed a bit.
"Yes, Whitby?" A younger, more vital Deacon replied. "We have the reports from the security detail," The young scientist replied, "and you will be guarding Doctor Black today."
Deek scratched his chin; the limited week's stubble scratching idly against his gauntleted hand. "Black, eh? Head of the Time Flux project?" The scientist nodded. Deek looked up, picking a pair of plasma pistols off a near shelf, along with a Tri-Beam laser rifle. "Well," he said, "Time's a-wasting." And the soldier snatched the scientist's dossier and stamped off to meet Black.
AFter a few minutes, he met up with the good (and insane) Doctor Seymour black and extended a hand to him. "Sergeant Deacon Harris," the soldier announced, "Enclave Ninth Special Operations Brigade, Third Platoon "Nightcrawlers." I'll be leading your guard detail today."
Whump! Whump, whump, whap! Whallup!
Master Sergeant John Hale bounced on the balls of his feet as his sparring partner struggled to his feet and returned to his corner. The second the bell sounded again, Hale set himself down like a mountain in a relaxed fighting stance. He twitched his hands a little and grinned, showing a gum-shield with a shark-tooth design printed on it. That little bit of movement and that grin pissed his partner off that little bit. The poor Gunnery Sergeant stepped forward recklessly and Hale took full advantage, slamming his shin into the poor man's leg just above the knee. Both of the man's legs went out from under him and he dropped like a sack of hammers. He rolled, but Hale was already on him, pinning him and beginning a ground 'n' pound session that forced a submission. Hale stood up, helped the man to his feet, shook his hands and ruffled his hair. Of course, with Hale's strength, that friendsly hair-ruffle probably gave the man whiplash.
Hale walked to the edge of the barracks boxing ring and climbed through the ropes, towelling the sweat from his hair as he went, and tossing the towel over his shoulder when he'd finished. His unit had finished their drills and training for the day, so they had the rest of the day free. And Hale planned on spending the day writing out the potential names for his next child. Lexie or Sara if its a girl, Paul or Adam if its a boy Hale thought as he headed for the locker room. He might put in some time at the range later too. Not that he needed it. Well, he didn't need the hour in the gym every day either, but he still did it.
He packed his training gear away, got back into his fatigues and walked across to the barracks dorm room. He spotted Sergeant Harris walking alongside Professor Black. Hale felt sorry for poor Harris. When Hale himself had been on bodyguard duty for the unhinged scientist, he'd been given an animated lecture on string theory and how shit it was.
Doc. Blacks hand jittered as he reached over and shook Harris's. Black wouldn't survive, well he probably wouldn't. What the fuck was he thinking? Informing on the Enclave? Well, not like anyone would notice his sudden nervousness.He had been going bat shit insane ever since the project started, he never thought the Enclave would accept it!
The council were a bunch of stubborn drunks that fiddled around the idea of what would blow what up best! Oh god, he was fucking dead. FUCKING DEAD! "Hello Mr. Harrison. Pleasure to meet you." As Harris gripped Blacks hand, Seymour just noticed how damn cold his was, and how he was sweating like a pig. His wife would of laughed at him now, if she were still with him that is.
"Excuse my nervousness, I'm just used to Delorean doing my body guard work. Less of a waste of recourses, or perhaps the possibilty of my mental breakdown compelled the scientific council to allow it, eh?" Starting to walk, Seymour looked back. "Come on, times a wasting!"
Meanwhile, a line of fusion-powered trucks were making their way through the Wasteland, kicking up clouds of dust around their wheels. On the right side of each of them was printed the letter E encircled with thirteen stars. To a member of the Enclave, this would not be an unusual sight; it was a supply convoy, presumably heading towards a remote compound. One thing that was out of place was the fact that hundreds of feet above them, they were flanked by no more than four Assault-model Vertibirds, carrying armaments and soldiers.
The droning hum of the engine and the thrumming of the rotors punctuated the conversation between Alpha Squad's members. "Yeah, I know what you mean, man. Me, I got a wife. Been with her for almost twenty-five years now. Got three kids to her an' all. Two daughters and a son. Shit, my boy's just signed up for Basic. Wants to be like his dad, who can blame him?" Sergeant Locke finished with a chuckle as he took a swig from his flask, then passed it to the soldier sitting next to him. He then clasped his hands together and turned his head to look at the soldier opposite him. "Whaddabout you, Corporal? You got a family?"
"Who, me? Oh, right. Yeah, I've been married for almost... two years, now. Her name's Lisa. Got a son, too. Andy. He's almost one. Nosey little fella, can never get his hands off people." Carl Fielding said with a slight smile as his thoughts drifted back to his family. "How old's she?" PFC Jonesly suddenly chimed in after taking a drink from the flask. "Huh? I just said he was one, and he's a boy--" "No, I mean your wife," the PFC clarified, sounding strangely over-eager and displaying a massive grin. Fielding gave him a meancing glare that would have possibly given a small mammal a heart attack, but this only made the cocky bastard's grin expand. "Twenty-three, soon to be twenty-four. Now before Jonesly starts asking about her cup size or anything, hey, Sarge; what are we doing all the way out here?"
The squad's sergeant clipped Jonesly round the back of the head before responding to Fielding's question. "Basically, we've been deployed to reinforce security at this compound in former New Mexico. I've read the files, seems pretty basic; but apparently, half the shit going on in the R&D department is classified under Secret Service decree, eyes only business. Shit, part from the ol' Colonel, we got no idea what's in the trucks ours Birds our escorting here. Gut feeling says that the extra security on site is somehow connected to all that. Still, I wonder what they're doing..." Locke trailed off as he thoughtfully peered out of one of the 'Bird's numerous portholes. "Hey, maybe they're researching interdimensional portals and stuff, and aliens are gonna break through and invade. That's reason enough to classify it, right?" Jonesly suggested, grinning as always. "Man, Jonesly, you need to stop playin' all those lame-ass terminal games. That's about as likely as some dumbass scientist picking up a crowbar and killing all of the aliens. Impossible." Fielding said, shaking his head slowly. Still, though, it was a bit odd, the circumstances. Damn bureaucrats better have a good reason for pulling me outta Providence and sending me halfway across the country. If I fucking miss Andy's first birthday, I swear to God, I'll...
A voice from the cockpit brought him from his thoughts. "Locke, we're nearing the compound. ETA five minutes." The pilot's voice crackled over the 'Bird's internal intercom. Locke nodded at this and turned to the rest of the squad, raising his voice to the authoritarian bark any EAF member would have known so very well. "Alright ladies, you heard the flyboy. Prep your gear, presentation is key. My guess is that whoever's in charge of this base is some sorta big shot and he specifically wanted to see the 37th Armoured Infantry at work, so if any of you limp-dick fuckups besmirch the name of our good division then I will personally see to it that your ass is drummed straight out of the corps and into the grinder! Is that clear, soldiers?!" Locke fired off, his voice ascending into a roar towards the end of his little speech. "As crystal, sir!" Came the impeccably synchronous response from the seven other members of the squad. "Now that's what I like to hear, fellas. Keep up that vigour and that enthusiasm throughout this detail and you'll do just fine...
"And Rico, wake the fuck up!" At that, the squad's engineer, Private Dwayne Rico stirred from his brief slumber, then, blinking a bit, pulled on his helmet and started checking his weapons. The rest of the 'Bird's occupants did the same. Fielding flipped his M72 over and over, checking the alignment of each of the dozen electromagnets lining the barrel before securing a fresh 2mm EC magazine, then slung it over his shoulder. He checked to see that his grenades and extra ammo were all sitting neatly on his belt before drawing his sidearm, a standard issue Plasma Pistol and inspecting it. It was definitely on its "off" setting at the moment, the green flare that normally lingered around the multiple-pronged "muzzle" of the thing nowhere to be seen. How these things worked, he didn't know and didn't want to know, but they sure looked pretty. He turned it on but made sure the safety was on to prevent an accidental discharge burning through his legplates before checking the cell charge meter on the side. Upon seeing the bar on 100%, he gave a firm nod and holstered it again.
With that, he brought up his Advanced Power Armor MKII helmet and slowly lowered it over his head. It felt tight and compacted at first, so he endeavored to quickly align his eyes with the polarised golden eyepieces of the helmet before he engaged the pressure-seals, locking it in place. The HUD flickered then flared to life, quickly annotating his surroundings with diagnostics and tactical data. It was a new feature of the MKII; only been implemented a few years ago. He didn't really trust it, though, preferring to rely on his instincts rather than letters on a screen. What if it malfunctioned and labled a friendly as a hostile? It was a possibility, seeing as the processor must have been small to fit in a helmet. He also wished there was some sort of "off" setting, because he really didn't care to know the name, age, blood type and service number of every member of the squad as he looked at them. Regardless, it quickly ran a diagnostic of his armour and gave him the green light, showing that everything was in optimal functional order.
"Base inbound. Beginning our descent now," the pilot informed the squad, who, having finished their gearcheck, hastily fastened their seatbelts as the Vertibird began to sink. Rapid falls were known to be dangerously jumpy, especially in the sandstorm sort of weather that the desert was currently experiencing. Fielding would have been launched at Jonesly in a flying headbutt were it not for the leather straps around his armour's clunky torso. Eventually, the shaking nearly stopped and finally ceased as he heard a whirring noise from somewhere beneath the fuselage as the landing gear extended, then a thud which threw him forward as the Vertibird touched down.
"Remember what I just told yas 'cause I really cannot be assed going through it again," Locke told the squadmates, who all gave acknowledging nods or incoherent mumbles as they unbuckled their seatbelts. "We are on the ground. Unstrap and prepare to dismount. Popping hatches in five..." the pilot began, "... four... three... two... one..." With that, there was a hiss of escaping gas as the previously sealed Vertibird was exposed to the harsh, acrid air of the Wastes as the door on either side of the Bird opened up. Fielding hated the stink of the Wastes, even in an Enclave compound. Smelled of mutie and shit. He was glad that he was breathing through a ventilator. One by one, the squad filed out of the Vertibird, lining up with the twenty-four soldiers that had came out of the other three birds as they awaited inspection.
"Affirmative, sir." Deek said calmly, and the Reconstruction grunt moved off after Doctor Black. The soldier looked around at some of his counterparts, dressed in the exact same uniform yet completely different. He didn't even have the skin on his arms to prove he was just like them on the inside. At least he was still alive; that Vertibird crash had almost left him without a life; he only got away with two smashed arms, his entire ribcage crushed like a fresh winter snow, and partial brain damage after a vertibird chunk split his brow.
"So," Deek said, shaking his consciousness off the disturbing thoughts of his near-inhumanity, "Enclave Command said you were some kind of scientist but didn't specify what you were working on so close to the Trinity Nuclear Test site.. What was the project you're working on here?"
As for one certain Sargent Tom Monk, he was at the nearby range. He was'nt shoot, however. Rather, he was acting as a spotter for one of snipers here at the base. Tom was actually a Verti-bird gunner, but, before that he was part of a two-man sinper team. He was the spotter. Plus, his friend was the DI for these guys.
"Ok...that shot went way wide. I mean...way wide. You were aiming for his head, right? It hit him in the heart."
"Yeah, but it would have killed him." said the newbie sniper.
"...True....true..." Tom admitted, before taking off his earplus and walking away from the range, his friend moving towards the young rookie.
I got to get over to the lounge...i've been in the seat for what, 9 hours? I need some rest...
Being a Vertibird gunner was actually a very fun job. Sure, he had to be on his ass for at least 5 hours a day, doing nothing. Then, when he got back, he had to help with Vertibird refueling. But, it was fun. The adlerine rush when he opened fire, covering the normal soldiers going out the door....looking across the preety landscape....those really funny conversions between him and the other door gunner and thepiolt on there headseats....so...yeah, all in all a good job.
Yawning and streching, he caught sight of one John Hale. His Vertibird, known as Lucky Strikes after a brnad of pre-war cigaerttes, transported Mr. Hale several times before.
Tom shouted, waving with his jacketed arm. He loved the fighlt jacket that they gave them. Black Leather, with some OD Cargo pants, along with a white t-shirt. The best part? Higher-ups allowed the crews to stencil in there symbols on the back. To top it off, litterally, Tom Monk added a ball-cap.
"Hows it going man? Heard that you were having a kid."
Hale stopped as he heard a familiar voice. Where had he heard that voice before? Shit, it was on the tip of his tongue, but he couldn't name the place. Wait! The transport department! It was someone from a VTOL! Hale looked around for a second and spotted that gunner from "Lucky Strikes". He'd never forget that bird. It's mascot picture was the reason he'd never show the photo of him with it's crew to his wife. Tom Monk. Hale wasn't great with names, but he never forgot a face, and he'd remember this guy's name because he was the one who'd kiss the Mascot photo's cleavage before and after every journey.
"Not too bad Monk, not too bad at all," Hale said, striding over to Monk and shaking his hand vigorously. He buried the worries of impending fatherhood for a moment as he looked up and down the range, noticing his old war-buddy was having some issues with a Cadet Sniper. Hale, just to put some smoke up the Cadet's dress, pulled his .223 Pistol and fired off two shots, putting two nice little eye-holes in the target. He slid two replacement shots into the cylinder as he continued, "So how've you been Monk? Shot many sheep out there?"
"That, and then somethings else!"
Monk said. It was true that he had shot some sheep out tghere in the field. Due to the fact that it was a hostile village, and he was told to kill everything thing in sight. Monk also shot several other things out in his 5 hour shift today, including but not limted to: Raiders, Super Muntants, and Raiders agian. A total of 10 Kills today, from everybody in the crew. Monk got himself two raiders, and wounded one super muntant.
"Lifes been good Hale, lifes been good. Hey, hear anything about this Seymour Black guy? Is'nt that the scienst fella?" Monk askled, half questioning, half in a casual conversation.
It, in fact, was a casull convesation/ Just two carrer soldiers catching up on each other. Spotting a nearby vending machine and grabbing some gummy worms, he took one at and slowly chewed it.
"Anyways, hows the wife?"
Monk knew that Hale had a wife, but, he never showed a picture of her to anybody. Problau for good reason, too. The Lucky Strikes always had a reptuation for being rather....well...daring, when it came to women. Mainly, that included bang generals daughters, wifes or sisters. Mainly daughters, howevers. Captians, Colonels, Lietunants. Sargents, even. But, rarely sargents. Only the stuck-up high command officers.
Lance Corporal Byron C. Phillips walked his morning patrol. He was just getting used to this newfangled Advanced Power Armor Mk. II. It fit well enough and was less restricting than the standard Advanced Power Armor, but it was much more high tech, and there was much more maintenance to it. No matter. Nothing ever seemed to happen this far out anyway. He guessed the idiot recruites got all the action. Last thing he shot his AER9 at was a Mole Rat two weeks ago. He did suppose that with a Warrior Weapon, the Enclave's top-secret perfect soldier creation project, there was some work of some import going on in the RESTRICTED areas of the compound. A soldiers job was to never ask questions though, so Byron Phillips went about with his patrols according to the schedule that the Lieutenant assigned. He wasn't particularly excited about the next day's prison gduty. Guarding empty cells, what was the point. There were only two cells anyway, and with the aforementioned lack of target, it would be a battle to just not fall asleep tomorrow.
Phillips walked the fenceline, observing the sniper recruits on the ranges, watching the bright-eyed excitement of the high-powered rifles they were issued. Phillips was a good shot, but admittedly, not to their standards. He'd gotten to this 'prestigous' posting by being a jack-of-all-trades soldier. Unfortunately, his capability, intelligence, sound tactical mind, and skill with weaponry had the big red letters GUARD written all over them to the higher-ups at the compound. Suddenly, a message was relayed over his helmet's comm system. Security personel to the East Gate, Security personel to the East Gate. Byron started in that direction. His finger twitched excitedly near the trigger guard of his AER9, but relaxed in disappointment when he arrived at the same time as a ground convoy. He walked over to PFC Davidson. "What do we got here?" he asked the PFC. "Supply convoy, carrying classified tech," Davidson shrugged. Phillips examined the convoy from afar. "I'll look into it," he said, walking to the passenger door of the first truck. "Credentials please," Phillips said, before a man in an officer's overcoat and an Enclave issue black hat looked down at him. "Colonel Gartn, 37th Armored Infantry. What are your credentials, soldier?" he said. Phillips snapped a salute. "Lance Corporal Byron C. Phillips, 15th Infantry," he said. The Colonel was becoming annoyed. "We have classified supplies, ordered for an unspecifiable recipient at this base," he said, "so if you have no further questions and value your career, Lance Corporal, I suggest you allow us passage." Phillips didn't know who he'd rather displease, Colonel Gartn here, or the Master Sergeant. "One moment, Sir," he said, opening a comm line. "Radio to Master Sergeant Hale," he said nervously. Maybe today wasn't going to be so dull after all.
Hale was talking about Carrie with Monk when his radio suddenly burst into life. Radio to Master Sergeant John Hale! Master Sergeant John Hale requested at East Gate... followed by a short burst of static howled from the radio on Hale's belt, throwing off the sniper lying on the ground next to him and causing her to shoot the target several times in the groin. Much to the horror of the other occupants of the range, who all happened to be male. Hale shrugged and shook his head, then shrugged again in quick succession. Well, if he was requested at the East Gate when his platoon was on free time, it was probably important. Or some prank by the other Sergeants. Either way, it was eating into his free time and he wanted to get it sorted out as quickly as possible.
"Sorry Monk. Gonna have to catch up later, someone wants me at the East Gate," Hale said, his face giving away his annoyance at having catch-up time with a war-buddy being cut short.
He turned sharply and started striding towards the East Gate. He was off-duty, so he didn't need to march as he crossed the parade ground, simply storming across with a look in his eye that deterred anyone who was walking anywhere near him. He was not a happy bunny about something that probably would require paperwork of some kind hacking a lump from his off-duty time. Not a happy bunny at all. In fact, the more he thought about it, the more he hoped it was going to be some small, fluffy overly-happy animal he could chuck in a furnace.
"Alright, later man!"
Monkl said, giving a mild wave. He needed to go to. Strolling over to the main base complex, Monk walked in. Taking off his ball-cap which showed a man with brown hair in a mo-hawk type fhasion. Higher-commands never approved of that, but, they also let that slide. Eating the last of his gummy worms and then throwing them away, he walked into the Vertibird Crews lounge. Inside, a Rasdio was playing softly, tuned of course to the enclave station. A few sofas were inside, as was a mini-firdge. Sitting down on a sofa, Tom grabbed a nearby book from the wall-bookcase. Looking at the title, it read Expolits of Marine Avatiors During World War Two. He's already read that one. Putting it back, he slaundered over to a nearby termaial. Thrn, realzing that he did'nt need to do anything on it, he simply just sat down. Turning on the TV that had been re-worked so then it, well, worked, the Encalve channel was boradcasting loud and clear.
And in other news, MIA soldier Jack Morr is belvied to be dead. Our Prayers are with the Morr family
Other such news soon started playing, and Tom felt himself go sleepy. So, he closed his eyes and took a short nap.
The higher-ups' attention had been momentarily diverted to a small holdup at the gates. Something about the convoy requiring clearance. The 37th's men on the ground milked this opportunity for everything it was worth, quickly falling back into their social groups (primarily their squads) and chattering away for the duration of this delay while prying eyes were elsewhere. Fielding and Rico were busy watching Jonesly at work. The dumb bastard was trying to chat up one of the female mechanics on site, who seemed to be rather uninterested, and was already spinning her one of his far fetched tales. "... so that's when I thought, "yeah, fuck this shit!", and then I picked up the two gatling lasers, one in each hand and I mowed that fucker right down!" Eventually she decided she'd had enough and walked off towards the eastern gate. Jonesly returned, rather glumly, to the squad. "Babes can't keep away from you, man, as always. Smooth, Jonesly, real smooth." Fielding said as soon as he was within earshot, his helmet concealing his ear-to-ear grin. "Yeah, nice going, Jonesanova," Rico agreed, nodding a few times. Fielding burst out laughing and slapped Rico on the back, earning a gruff "fuck you" from Jonesly to which he retorted by shooting the bird. Jonesly seemed to want to take their little disagreement further by the way he was walking, but Locke's swift interjection destroyed any prospect of a brawl between soldiers.
"AAAALRIGHT YOU BUNCHA FUCKWITS! FALL BACK INTO LINE BEFORE I KICK YOU BACK THERE MYSELF!" The older man roared at the troops, who quickly obliged like scurrying rodents. Fielding wondered why Locke hadn't signed on to be a DI.
Phillips turned with a startle as he heard a shout and turned to see the large form of Master Sergeant John Hale headed his way. By the look of it he was off duty, not good. Phillips knew that the Master Sergeant was the man tto call for all security related issues, but on his downtime, Hale was just plain mean. Phillips didn't say a word, but saluted sharply, recievinga hasty response before beingsimply passed by. He rubbed the back of his neck as he heard Hale start yelling at the Colonel, immediately. Phillips figured it wasn't so much that Hale thought he was above the Officer staff, moreso that despite being a Master Sergeant by title, there was nothing they could do to him. After a few moments the yelling ceased. Looking down the line, Phillips could see men jumping back on the trucks. And Hale now storming his way. Saluting sharply once again, Phillips snapped to attention. "Supply deliver for Seymour Black. See to it that they get there. I am unreachable for the rest of the day," he said, before storming off again. "Yes, Sir," Phillips said, but Hale was already gone. Waving to the driver, he heard the engine revv and recieved a dirty look from the Colonel as the trucks passed. Phillips was glad he only had an hour left on patrol.
The 37th Armored Infantry's detachment were now being inspected by a few of the higher-ups who were on hand at the base, who were, in turn, busily exchanging formalities with Lieutenant Colonel Alucard Vasquez, who effectively served as Colonel Gartn's second in command while he himself was busy with the little delay at the gates. Said delay seemed to have been resolved by now, Fielding observed, as the convoy of trucks was now filing into the compound. Wearing a face-concealing helmet allowed his eyes to wander without arousing suspicion while recieving some drawling speech about being welcome at Trinity Research Base and how the 37th would be a valuable asset indeed to have at the base. Fielding wasn't even listening but he could still isolate a few flaws in the speech. Firstly, this guy was speaking under the assumption that the entire division was here. There was thirty-two soldiers here, thirty-three if you counted Gartn, and the rest were at Providence Base or God knows where else. Secondly, he kept calling them "security officers" rather than "soldiers" or even the considerably less flattering "men with guns come to save otur asses from whatever we called you here for", which was just a flaw in itself. Something told him that the man talking to them wasn't military. The black pigmentation of the overcoat he was wearing rather than the traditional tan of the Enclave Armed Forces, alongside the lack of insignia, reinforced this idea.
Upon concluding his speech, the man in the black coat donned this sort of strange metal gasmask thing before walking off. Colonel Gartn, apparently having concluded his own business with the guards at the gate, walked into a building with the Lt. Colonel and a junior officer from the base in tow. After standing there, still in line but doing nothing for at least a few minutes, Locke, the highest ranking soldier out of the thirty-one remaining men, took initiative after seeing the base's civilian workers struggling to unload the contents of the now-parked trucks. "Alright. Your orders are to assist the on-site workers in unloading and transporting the supplies brought in by the convoy we escorted. Menial, maybe, but at least you look busy. Hop to it! On the bounce!" Everyone got to work immediately.
"Man, don't they have robots for this shit?" Jonesly whined as he and Jaylor, another PFC were struggling to heft a particularly large crate. The servos of their Power Armor creaked uneasily in the face of the exertion. Jonesly was fortunate enough to be staring at the rear of the woman he'd tried chatting up earlier when Jaylor's grip suddenly gave way, sending the crate to the floor and busting open the lid. Jonesly didn't even notice, still holding the handles on his half of the crate while Jaylor got a good look at the contents. Abruptly, a trio of men wearing identical overcoats to the man who'd given the speech quickly exited a building. One of them pushed Jaylor out of the way, into the arms of the other two, closed the crate and helped Jonesly carry it the rest of the way. "Wait, what the fuck just happened?" Jonesly said after a moment, apparently realising that something had happened while he was busily performing a routine ass inspection, but recieved no answer. The other two men in black coats promptly guided Jaylor by the arms into the building they'd came out of.
Fielding and Rico paused to observe the spectacle while they held their own crate. This was strange. Men in black dragging soldiers who'd seen something classified away? An infrequent sight, but not unheard of in the Enclave. He finally came to the conclusion that the featureless coal-covered overcoat must have been Secret Service uniform. When he joined the army, he hadn't signed on for this sort of thing. He sighed, but forced a slight smile afterwards. "... Uh, dude, do not drop this thing." Fielding said with a slight nervous laugh after a moment. Rico only nodded and they continued.
Alright, so Black had gone down to a classified portion of the base where Deek couldn't follow. That was fine. He was told to stand guard at the door; which basically involved allowing the TTrenchcoat Mafia to go into and out of the building at will and ogle anyone who wasn't the Trenchcoat Mafia or Doc Black that tried to get inside. If they made a move for the door, hand-crushing was allowed. If they made a move to defend themselves, deadly force was encouraged to strike an example.
So far, nobody had tried to come in. Even the Trenchcoat Mafia were busy guiding this new shipment in; and all of the people who weren't doctors or Trenchcoat Mafia were either ogling the cargo, the guy who had just been carted away for breaking the cargo, or moving the cargo.
Deek then spotted a familiar face(plate) amongst the crowd of people carting supplies. It was Fielding, from the 37th! Amazingly, Deek somehow recalled having been friends with the guy (on somewhat awkward terms) before he had been wounded and carted off to Reconstruction and, later, Black-Ops. Staring down one of the Enclave grunts who was about to try and make his way in (the fool wasn't even wearing power armor, let alone combat armor; he was just dressed in his fatigues- but he was at least 6 feet tall), Deacon pushed off the wall by the doorway and moved over to where Fielding and Rico (a face he actually didn't recognize) were carting the cargo. Patting the side of Fielding's box, he asked, "You need any help there, bud? Seeing what those trench-coated thugs were doing to your buddy over there; I would think you wouldn't bwant to be carrying such risky material."
Staff Sergeant Franklin J. Locke held his hands behind his back and bit his lip as he observed the men at work. Specifically, the men in trenchcoats who were at work dragging his own men away into buildings from which they did not emerge. This wasn't in the briefing, but Vasquez'd told him not to ask any questions if he disagreed with the conduct of the men on site, and that he would be properly debriefed at a later date. As much as he disliked it, he couldn't argue with a Lieutenant Colonel. He sighed, walked over and helped Jonesly carry the next crate.
Fielding blinked and squinted through his polarised eyepieces at the newcomer. He'd heard the voice before, definitely, although it was hard to make out through the helmet's vocaliser and it sounded slightly different overall. He'd addressed him as "bud", which basically confirmed his inkling suspicion that he knew the guy. Either that or he was just being friendly. Eventually, his helmet's heads-up-display brought up records of him, and a name appeared.
"... Deekie fucking Harris!" He shouted loudly, drawing the eyes and presumably the ire of virtually everyone in earshot. "Hahaha! Good to see ya, man!" Were his hands not occupied with the crate, he would have slapped Deek on the back or something equal in terms of friendly gestures. However, they were, and he was reluctant to let go of it even for a second. "Nah, man, I'm good. Me and Rico got it covered," he said, gesturing with an inclination of the head to the man holding the other side of the crate, "you better just get back to your post. Talk to you later, back in barracks. Assuming you have barracks in this, uh, place." Fielding looked around for a moment, before giving the best shrug he could muster with his hands occupied by something heavy and leaving Deek to it as he continued carrying the crate of Christ-knows-what away.
Phillips stowed his weapon as his relief approached the East Gate. Nodding to the now-on-duty trooper, Phillips started walking toward the elevator to the barracks compound. To the west, he could see the convoy that'd been sent in earlier unloading whatever supplies they were carrying. His eyes turned back to the front as one of the black trenchcoated guards gazed his way. He knew enough not to mess around with those guys. In a way, he was happier not knowing what went on underground in the labs. His wife wouldn't be off work for another four hours. What, oh what, would he do until then? Phillips adjusted course slightly and headed for the mess hall, before hearing a transmission over his comm. Serial 482902973, please report to the Quartermasters Office. Phillips' shoulders sagged in disappointment. What did they want with him now?
Colonel Ibram Chase sat in the front of his command vertibird flying towards the facility.Why in gods name did he agree to come back south to take command of a stupid science facility.He prefered alaska even if it was a little colder than here.At least he got to see action in alaska.Not mutch chance of that now that he was a colonel.The pilots voice came over the intercomm."landing in 5 colonel".Chase pulled on his greatcoat over his power armour.He was due to meet Dr Black before giving his orders to the men.The bird came down to a halt on the edge of the tarmack.
The men in front of the bird saluted at the sight of his uniform."Colonel Ibram Chase,Here to take command of the bases secruity".Chase walked pass the men towards what looked like men unloading a convoy."Hello!.Im colonel ibram chase,could someone show me to Dr Black?".
"Right, back to work." Deek replied, moving back away from Fielding, but quickly moving back to deliver a few words of advice. "But watch yourself around those Trenchcoat Mafia guys. Something about them rubs me the wrong way; not even SO Brigade Command has anything on them. They're total enigmas."
Steping back, he dissappeared through a small knot of Enclave soldiers, heading for a Colonel whose nameplate read "Chase". N Flagging the man down, he stepped forward towards the Colonel and his entourage. "Colonel Ibram Chase?" The soldier extended a hand to the finely-dressed soldier. "Sergeant Deacon Robert Harris, Ninth Special Operations Brigade. I was assigned to command the Third Platoon "Nightcrawlers" for the duration of my guard detail; Doctor black's in the building over there. I'll let you in."
And with that, Deek led the colonel over to the classified building (where the doors were flanked by more Trenchcoat Mafiosos), flashed his clearance and allowed the Colonel into the building. Of course, his entourage (much like Deek) wasn't allowed in either. They didn't have enough clearance; then again, only the scientists and Trench-coat Mafia was allowed to join the secret club in there.
"Thank you sergeant".Chase made his way through the door into a completely diferent world.The corridor was gleeming and chase was flanked by two men in trench coats.They made there way down a corridor into an office where an old man with graying hair sat.The sign on his desk said Dr Black."Dr black?.Im colonel chase here to take command of the base security and evaluate the potentiol of the project.I was told that you would informe me of base operations.On that matter Dr i have noticed that there are areas out of bounds to the men why?"
"That is classified Mr. Chase." Seymour never liked the Enclave higher ups. "I was giving direct orders. Only other scientists, the senate, and those who have direct impact on the scientific community of the Enclave may be given details about the project. Also, a Colonel should have no business here. This project has nothing to do with the war effort, and instead about peace. Besides, from what I know from the short copy of the file here." Seymour takes out a yellow envelope from inside his desk. "You have no experience with scientific projects, not related to weaponry. The bases extra security is for the high amount of Brother Hood and NCR activity in the area. I suppose you know about the faculty a few miles from here, raided and destroyed. They were working on some sort of advanced power armour. Here they're moving the project eastward. And I would like to ask you a question. What is a Enclave colonel, one that should be fighting the war doing in the middle of no where? None of your strategy would be in handy in case of a brother hood or NCR attack. And the Senate isn't stupid enough to send some one in the middle of war, down to the middle of no where?"
Hale watched, Crate halfway off the truck as the Trenchcoat gasmask men dragged the unfortunate grunt away. Hale shivvered. Those spooks gave him the creeps. Something primal, guttural and utterly feral and wild in him had an instinctive revulsion towards anyone in a white coat, particularly if he couldn't see their faces. Probably a remnant of all the doctors hovvering around his parents after the fire that killed them. He moved up alongside a soldier named Fielding, unless he'd stolen someone else's nametag, and gave a curt nod, acknowledging the presence of another carreer soldier on-base.
"Mister Fielding, I'm gonna give my own greeting speech here. It'll do you well to steer clear of everyone in a mask and white coat, especially if it's a full environmental protection mask. Those guys give me the creeps, and I've stared down a charging Guai. You're welcome in the lounge any time you have a free minute, and more than welcome in the sparring ring. It's been a while since I pushed myself against someone. I may even be rusty, touch wood," Hale said to Fielding, tapping the crate he was carrying. "Now, steer clear of any building that has a buzzing noise coming from it. The guards around them are authorized to kill intruders, Enclave or otherwise. Take care around here. This whole place is the reason good men and women get the heebie-jeebies."
As for Tom Monk, he was awoken by the sound of a Vertibird xccoming in.
He said, as he walked outside. From the looks of th eVertibird, VIP transport. Putting on his baseball hat, Monk did a quick scan of the aerea. Spotting Hale over with some other guy, he gave a quick wave over in there direction before walking over.
"Hey, whos the new guy? Somebody imporant?"
Tom asked. Tom also looked over to the other solders nametag. Fielding. Flexing the fingers of his left hand, but not in a hostile way, he looked around. The guys with the gasmasks were really, really odd. He'd tried talking to one before, but, they just said 'piss off'. He'd been assigned to this base, or his crew did, on the account that they did'nt really have a veteran Vertibird crew on site. The rest were just a bunch of newbies who thought they knew what they were doing. Frh out of training, just like the snipers that were once here, but, they had to go do some PT.
"Oh, and the names Monk."
Tom said, extending his hand to shake Fieldings hand.
Fielding completely ignored Hale and Monk for a while until he and Rico had successfully loaded the crate into the arms of a waiting Sentry Bot, which had apparently been converted into a sort of loader/carrier judging by its lack of munitions, the actuators built into its arms and the polite, somewhat feminine voice it spoke in which was considerably more... "user-friendly" than the authoritarian growl the metal monsters normally snarled out in. "Now why didn't they bring those out before?" Rico asked rhetorically, dusting his hands off for a moment before he decided he'd follow the Sentry Bot to wherever it was taking the supplies. Fielding would have warned him not to get jumped by any freaks in coats and masks, but he was never the motherly type, and left him to it.
He then addressed the two men who'd approached him. "Good to meet ya, Monk," He said, shaking the man's hand. This Monk fellow was dressed like a civvie but carried himself like a military man (you learnt how to notice these things after a while), so he assumed that Monk was off duty. "Yeah, I just got transfered from out East. Don't suppose the food's any better round these parts?" He asked, somewhat sarcastically. "Nah. Comes outta the same dispensers, doesn't it?" Monk clarified for him. He didn't know why, but he liked this guy, even if he was dressed like a prick.
He turned his attention to Hale and nodded. "Yeah, man, me and you were on the same thought train there. I had near enough the same idea. Thanks for the warning though." He said, nodding a few times over. "I might take you up on that sparring offer. Been meaning to bust some heads for a while now, let off some steam," He continued, his helmet concealing his cocky grin as he patted Hale on the shoulder, who himself seemed to be amused at the prospect.
"Dr black surely you know by now that in this world everything is to do with war.Besides theres very few wars going on and the enclaves generals can deal with them.The milatry has an intrest in everything these days Dr and im here to represent them.As im sure you'v noticed the EAF are becoming slightly paranoid about science projects.No offence Sir.My main job here sir is to make sure the base is secure from any and all hostile factions.So to be fair sir im still fighting a war,Just in a different way"
A corporal from the Nightcrawlers patted Deek on the shoulder plate. "Sergeant Harris," the guy said, "I'm here to relieve you. You're on break, sir."
Deek sighed outward and smiled lightly, letting his shoulders sag down and his Tri-Beam laser rifle hang lighter in his grip. He made his way over to where Fielding and Hale were talking idly, along the way stowing his laser rifle on his back. Eventually he stomped his way over to the little knot of people and clapped Fielding heartily on the back.
"Alright," He said, "I'm off duty. So what're you guys up to now?"
"Shi-t-t-t man. Were all off duty!" Tom noticed, adding a little grin to the end of the end of the sentance.
But, now to think. Noremally, he would just chill. You know, hit the Avatiors club, go to the lunge to hang out, maybe hit the weight s a litte. Problay pratcie with his sidearm, a M191 .45 Pistol. He loved that thing. Nothing, well, nearlly anything in the Wastes can't be stopped by that. Raiders, Wasters, Muties, Mole-Rats. Plus, it had a nice kick to it. Moving his fingers around on his left hand, he then opened his mouth to speak.
"We could go the lounge. Oh, and names Tom Monk." he said, for the new guy did'nt know who his name was./
"Well, this project isn't really to help the war, but stop it Mr. Ibram. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go do some work on the machine." Grabbing his lab coat, Seymour started to head for the door. When he forgot something. Walking to his desk, he opened the door and picked up a strange looking weapon. Mr Ibram stared at it for a second, before looking at Seymour. "If you don't mind me asking, what is that Mr. Black?" Seymour looked down at the handgun, and put it in its holster. "Oh, this? Nothing really, a weapon project I did a few years after I became a scientist. The weapons proved far too expensive to reproduce however, and was cancelled. I use it for protection, although it's rarely used these days, and more of a momento then anything else. I can get you one if you like."
Byron Phillips strode into the Quartermaster's Office and stopped at the desk, snapping to attention with a salute. "482902973, reporting as requested, Sir," he said in practiced military tones. "At ease," the Quartermaster said, "you've been called in for re-assignment." The Quartermaster tossed an envelope down on the table. Phillips eyes, concealed by his helmet, darted down toward the envelope. Regardless of curiosity, he listened as the officer went on. "You will be reporting to the Master Sergeant's personal detail in the underground. Your Lieutenant has been informed, as has Master Sergeant Hale. You are to receive a promotion directly to Staff Sergeant Do you have any questions?" Despite the myriad of questions running through his head, Phillips answered "No sir." He saluted, then waited for the Quartermaster to salute in return, before picking up the envelope and exiting. Once outside, he opened and received orders to report immediately to his new direct superior, who he dreaded. Quickly checking his weapon to make sure he wouldn't get disciplined in case Hale did perform an inspection, Phillips began is walk double-time across the compound. He approached Hale, who was engaged in conversation, patiently waiting for the conversation to end before saluting, to Hale's slightly annoyed stare. "What do you want, soldier?" Hale said. "Staff Sergeant Phillips, reporting for assignment," Byron said, "I've been reassgned to your guard detail." Hale merely raised an eyebrow.
"I have a guard detail?" Hale said incredulously, to no one in particular. Why did he, the best soldier on-base need a guard detail? Hale's face went through a myriad of expressions from mild frustration to utter empty confusion. "When did I get a guard detail? Am I supposed to mentor you or something? Anyway, at ease. We're headed to the lounge, and you're now under orders to relax and join us."
Hale felt like he'd had a bucket of cold water thrown on him. Dazed, somewhat confused, and staring open mouthed into the middle distance. All within his own head of course, otherwise people might stare at him in a similar manner. Why did he have a guard detail? He killed an entire NCR Ranger platoon by himself just last month. Maybe he was supposed to take Staff Sergeant Phillips under his wing or some such. Or maybe Phillips was supposed to keep an eye on him for psychosis or something. After all, he did kill an entire platoon by himself. But that was to be expected from the 3rd Special Forces Regiment. They were, without any doubt, the single most dangerous armed force in the Wastelands, Airborne Shock Troopers and Kruger's Death Guard be damned. Their achievemnts and roll of honour was like something plucked straight from the mind of a child who watched too many violent films. Hale knew for a fact that the NCR was filing the 3rd's actions against them for War Crime Trials if they ever got their hands on a member. Hale himself was to be shot on sight without trial. Luckily, the 3rd all wore balaclavas and helmets in green ops, and most black ops as well.
Maybe the base commanders were worried about Hale being attacked by NCR spies or something after the failed assassination attempt on their head of state. Hale could quite easily have killed the NCR "President" if those guards hadn't showed up with their miniguns. Hale had realised after the mission that he probably should have just stealthed his way in in BlackOps Armor instead of going juggernaut and killing seventeen guards on his rampage through Shady Sands. But then, Hale had barely escaped with his life, and had several new scars after that little scuffle. Even though the President wasn't killed by Hale, it sent a message that no one was safe from the Enclave's touch, that no one was truly out of reach. No one was above their punishment. No one was truly safe. Hale felt a sudden urge to cackle and twirl an imaginary moustache, but instead, he led the way to the lounge.
"Goodbye Dr".Ibram walked back out the room and down the corridor to the lounge area.He pulled up a chair and sat down with a cup of coffee.It came from his private supply god knows how rare coffee was nowadays.He took a long drink from the mug before setting it down on the table.At times like this it was almost posible to imagine there wasn't a war on.That ilusion was shatered though as he remembered his last battle.It had been against a regiment of the NCR's bloody marines.The buggers were almost as hard to kill as BOS initiates it had been the 1st time in ages that he had called in air suport against his enamys.
Phillips was slightly confused himself as he tried to keep up with Hale. "Uh, Sir," he said, "with respect, I don't believe I'm supposed to be guarding you, per se... Sir. I believe that they instructed me to see to it that when you need something done, it would be. I guess, er, Sir, that they want me to take help with your responsibilities so you can be more readily available when incidences like this morning occur." Hale rolled his eyes and Byron figured he'd better speed up his explanation before he was spitting out teeth, or worse. "My orders were to simply follow yours, Sir." Hale took a glance back. "Easy enough then, lounge." he said. As the group entered the lounge area, Byron readied his weapon and waited outside. He was supposed to be off now, and he was now stuck on some weird re-assignment. He stood and wondered to himself, why the sudden scramble in standing orders. From there his mind drifted to just what the hell was being cooked up here anyway. He quickly shook it off. It's not a soldier's job to ask questions.
Deek followed Fielding, Philips and Hale into the break room of the project site. It was a lot different from the rec areas he'd been in in the past; this one had a lot more crap in it than the others- plushy chairs, snack machines, hell, even a working television. Granted that the telly only got one channel (the Enclave Channel: All Propaganda, All Day), but the gesture was appreciated- it was a lot more homely =than the other ones, like the brass was doing extra to make sure that the staff and security of this facility were comfortable.
Deek immediately disvocered this, after stripping out of his Tesla Armor and into his uniform, when he settled into one of the large chairs in the room. It may as well have been like he was sitting on a cloud; he practically sank into the plushy chair and wished he could stay there forever. He fought off sleep for a second, and stayed awake while the other members of the group filed in.
Chase stood up from his chair finishing the coffee in a single swig before heading towards the baracks.On his way he passed the Rec room where some enclave troupers including Black Op John Hale.Chase had been impresed by Hales failed attack on the NCR's President,Chase himself had allways argued with his supirors that they should have blow the place out of the sky long ago,But the enclave didn't have enogth V-Birds these days and people like hale and Dr Black were the future of enclave warfare,It didn't suit chase,He'd much rather still be in alaska than acting as a base commander.Chase decided to stop and pick up a few troupers from the rec room so that he'd have some company on his tour of the base."You four come with me" he said pointing to four men sittting around in the room.
Hale watched as General Chase wandered into the rec room and demanded four people accompany him. Probably didn't feel comfortable walking around a secure, well-staffed facility without a full bodyguard complement. Bastard. Grabbing people during their off-duty time to follow him wherever he wanted to go. Hale realised Chase was indicating himself, Phillips, Monk and Fielding. As Chase looked away to the TV, Hale rolled his eyes and heaved himself from what he was sure was the most comfortable chair on the base. Hale saluted and waved the other three along with him, before making a fairly vulgar gesture in Chase's direction while the Base Commander's back was still turned, then miming hitting him with the butt of his rifle, then slinging it when Chase turned to face them. Chase then nodded in Seymour and Harris' direction outside the door. Hale sighed and followed along slowly, pissed off at having been called away from free time again.
Hale looked around as Seymour walked them around the outside of a large warehouse-like building waving his hands like some insane puppet while giving strange statements in scientific jargon and naming what Hale assumed were some kind of scientific instruments and how cost-effective the AC power system was and how the experiment actually supplied power to the entire base. Hale, while a man of aignificantly above-average intelligence, was not the scientific type, and was rapidly getting bored, and began inventing new and graphic ways to frag Chase for walking around like the ground he walked on worshipped him. One of them involved a pipe wrench and a rivet gun. Hale's favourite by far, however, was the one with the railway spikes and the electromagnet. That one would be worth getting Court Marshalled for.
Deek was stripped out of his Tesla armor and standing guard nearby Black in his fatigues. He had rolled the sleeves back to provide extra ventilation, because being encased in armor or unbreathable fabrics for too long left the internal components dangerously close to overheating. Such a thing would lead to long stints without arms on the base, and an extremely extremely extremely hazardous situation on the battlefield. So here he was standing, out in the open, in his fatigues, with his sleeves rolled back and his glinting metal arms bared in full to the desert sun. And any Enclave personnel nearby.
The soldier grunted in some combination of annoyance and exhaustion, his head swimming with questions for the doctor. How was the entire base run by a single experiment? Even the smallest bases required multiple power generators to run their appliances, and here this massive complex was being run by something that had just been built weeks ago and cranking out enough power already to fuel a city block. Was the power source self-renewing? If it were, Black was a madman, a genius, or both. Self-renewing energy was a faraway dream even in pre-War times, this was just rediculous! "If I might ask," Deek said, interrupting Black's ramble on the plausibility of absolute-zero. "What the hell is the experiment running this place, anways?"
While the Doctor was rambling on about some sort of thingy ma jig, Deek started to ask a question. "What the hell is the experiment running this place, anways?" Seymour waited a few seconds, before rummaging in his pockets for something. As he was looking for some sort of object-probably a pen- he started to speak. "Well, Electro magnetic fields created by..... something that's classified turn a Dynamo to supply electricity. However, it's not saf- err, forget I said anything about safety. To tell you the truth though, it breaks down a lot, and we have to rely on a different power source. It's been fine ever since two or three days ago though, which is good. However I'm a tad worried about ov- sorry, I forgot that was classified too. Anyway, what do you fellows want to do now?"
It was apparent at this point the Seymour was getting bored of giving the tour around the base. He'd done it several times this week, and each time some one of a higher rank came he'd have to do it, or risk a bad report. Which wouldn't be good at all if the experiment malfunctioned even slightly while they were at the testing grounds.